The Haydock Bible
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While at Ugthorpe, Father Haydock completed the work for which he would be best remembered: commentary for a new edition of the English Catholic Bible. That Bible was called the Douay Version (Douay-Rheims Bible), originally translated from the Latin Vulgate in the 16th century chiefly by Gregory Martin, one of the first professors at the English College, Douai (University of Douai). It was revised and newly annotated in the 18th century by Richard Challoner (1691-1781), a scholar at University of Douai and then Vicar Apostolic of the London District, and later by Father Bernard MacMahon (1736?-1816). Haydock took his text from the Challoner-MacMahon revision, but added a substantially extended commentary. This commentary was partly original and partly compiled from Patristic writings and the writings of later Bible scholars. The Bible had long been used to advance the Protestant cause. However, Catholics used it effectively in their counteroffensive. As Haydock states in his Preface, "To obviate the misinterpretations of the many heretical works which disgrace the Scripture, and deluge this unhappy country, has been one main design of the present undertaking."
First Edition of the Haydock Bible
George's brother, Thomas, was the Bibleâs publisher. Production began in 1811 and was completed in 1814, in a large, folio edition. As were many editions of the Bible at the time, Haydockâs was published and sold by subscription, a few leaves at a time. Subscribers would accumulate the sets of leaves over the years and ultimately have the completed Bible bound. Different copies have general title pages dated 1811, 1812, or 1813, showing variously Thomas Haydockâs Manchester or Dublin locations. Given the enormous scope of annotating the entire Bible, Father Haydock was unable to maintain his brotherâs demanding production schedule in addition to his pastoral duties at Ugthorpe. Therefore, another Douay alumnus, Father Benedict Rayment (1764-1842), was called on for assistance. He and a group of colleagues compiled the New Testament portion of the commentary. There was contemporary criticism that haste in preparation of the commentary resulted in some errors. However, given the spartan resources available for Catholic publishing in England at the time, the Haydock Bible must be considered a remarkable achievement. English Catholics enthusiastically welcomed this impressive volume that symbolized a reinvigorated Catholicism on the verge of winning its long fight to repeal the Penal Laws. At least 1,500 copies of the first edition were sold. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Leo_Haydock
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